Primark posted a 22% sales surge in its third quarter to June 21, driven by new stores and like-for-like growth.

Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, revealed year-to-date sales in the 40 weeks to June 21 have grown 17% driven by like-for-like growth, new stores and “superior” sales densities in new stores.

Associated British Foods said Primark benefited from the warm weather in the 16-week quarter, especially because of the comparative cold weather in the same months of March and April last year.

It added that operating margin remained in line with its first-half performance, as it was positively impacted by efficiencies to its warehouse and distribution facilities and lower freight rates.  

Primark opened nine stores in the quarter, totalling 275 stores at the end of the period. Openings included three in the suburbs of Paris, one in Cologne, Germany, Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Logrono in Spain and Canterbury in the UK. It closed a small store in Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland. 

It added that plans are on track to open its first stores in the northeast of the USA towards the end of 2015 and it is planning a European store opening programme too.

By the end of the financial year it expects a net increase in retail selling space of 1.2 million sq ft, with just under one million sq ft added in the next financial year and a “strong” programme of openings in 2015.